TAKE MATURE OUTLOOK
Going back to study requires a little preparation, Lauren Ahwan reports
MATURE-aged students returning to study next year are urged to take advantage of free courses designed to maximise the chance of academic success.
University of Sunshine Coast Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students) Professor Karen Nelson says courses in academic writing, maths, study skills and a variety of other topics will be offered at universities across Australia from next month to prepare those about to start uni for the first time.
While the courses are available to all prospective university students, Nelson says they are essential for mature-aged students, who often hold unwarranted fears about standing out among school leavers.
“That nervousness is often exacerbated by the fact they have often had to give up something to come back (to study), like paid employment, or they worry about how they will keep up,’’ she says. “The key thing for people to remember is you have qualified for a place in the university – the university has made an offer to you based on your qualifications and your life experience. But if you are feeling a bit anxious, and want to brush up on some of those skills (needed at university) then there are courses available.’’
Nelson also recommends those set to start university next year ask to be assigned a student mentor.
She says if students identify themselves as a mature-aged student, and provide their course details, universities will try to pair them with a mentor from a similar background.
TAFE student experience director Jacqui Clarke says many institutes have online resources to help matureaged students navigate their return.
She encourages prospective students to attend campus orientation and enrolment events, where they can learn how to access their student email and link it to their personal email account, as well as how to access online course components and check their academic results.
Allison Camille recently complet- ed a Bachelor of Primary Education with a perfect grade point average of 7 but admits returning to university had been daunting.
“I was very concerned I was past my use-by date, that I was too old and it would be a real struggle,” says the mother-of-two, who teaches Year 3 at Buddina State School.
“But being mature and having a family and life experience did not hinder my ability to succeed.
“I succeeded because of it.’’
WELL SCHOOLED: Allison Camille, with students Zeb Berding, Alenna Thomas and Ella Sims. Picture: PATRICK WOODS